I like to find weird shit in weird stores. For me, life is a collection of stories and one long scavenger hunt. One of the best places for a scavenger hunt is in one of those stores where everything costs a buck. Or where everything costs just under a buck, or where MOST things costs a buck but some things are cheaper than a buck, or you get two or three things for a buck, or even six things for a buck, or sometimes they’re even a little more expensive than a buck, but not TOO much more expensive than a buck because everything is trying to cost right around a buck. The 99 Cent Store, Dollar Tree, and the ridiculously surreal ghetto-fab Q Bargain are good examples. I like that there are aisles and aisles of junk food. Cookies, candies, sweets, crackers, sugars, pastas, breads. Although there are a lot of great bargains, these stores can be diabetic temptresses. An important sociological study could be undertaken on that pithy observation, right?
My favorite part of the dollar store experience is the scavenger hunt. There are so many weird things to be seen and enjoyed! They have crap that NOBODY should ever buy and tons of stuff with weird generic labels, silly product names, and horrible knock-offs. One of my favorite horrible knock-offs is a horrible knock-off of a horrible product. Tres Flores is a “brilliantine” hair product used regularly by cholos before it became en vogue for them to shave their heads. The homeboys would dab it into their hands and draw it through their gorgeous short locks to keep them moist and shiny while they dealt drugs and killed babies. At the 99 Cent Store you can buy “Trees Flowers” instead. Almost the same, but not quiiiite…
And now, some photos!
I wanna smell like a macho man! A macho sporting man. I wonder if there’s a solution at the 99 Cent store. There is! It’s called Macho: Sport Scent: After Shave; Splash On. Well splash it on my face, macho man!
I like-a play a Ping Pong Game! I recently bought about 30 ping pong balls from the dollar store for my cats to play with. The cats don’t bring them back and I’m too lazy to fish them out from behind the refrigerator every five minutes, so I just buy shit-tons of them. With that many ping pong balls, I figured I should get at least one paddle to facilitate the feline fun by whacking the orbs against the walls. The buck store was my answer, with some awesome low-quality table tennis bats from the folks at Lel Pro. What the hell is a Lel? I dunno, but check out this sweet artwork. It’s got some kick-ass graphics with loads of binary numbers. Binary = new millennium ping pong with Internets and high tech whacks! And, that’s a handsome-looking white man who must’ve just PWND some fool at table tennis! White people are NOTORIOUSLY awesome ping pong masters.
An brilliant idea! Let’s say that you are an Asian manufacturer and you produce the bamboo skewers that Latino chefs used to stick into corncobs for grilling, steaming and boiling. And let’s say that you get an annoying call from your mom, your accountant, or life coach and she tells you that you need to diversify if you want to grow the business. What do you do? You take your stupid sticks, re-brand them, and sell them to Asians as chopsticks — even if they are completely ineffectual as chopsticks! That’s marketing, people! (PS: Coincidentally I’ve been to a Chinese restaurant that utilizes these stupid sticks in their restaurant. You have to ask for chop sticks though, because otherwise they give you forks. I think they use the squinky sticks to dissuade you from wasting their inventory in the future and to encourage you to use their default forks instead. Cheap-ass, but ecologically sound!
There’s plenty of shit to be found at the dollar stores, so please don’t assume that I’m done with them quite yet. I’ll be back with more, and then I’ll take a trip into some whack-ass thrift stores. Yes, I’ve been to some really cool thrift stores, but I don’t want to go to them because there are definitely some fucked UP thrift stores where everything you touch you wished that you hadn’t touched. Uggghh! I’m looking forward to it! Subscribe to my blog today!
[c] 2009 Russ of America
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